Scuba diving in the Maldives
The Maladweep or Maldives is one of the best world's scuba diving destinations, because of the white sand beaches, coral reefs, clear warm waters, scuba diving sites and rich marine life.
Most holiday resorts in the Maldives have a scuba diving facility and there are a number of liveaboard operators offering scuba diving cruise holidays that take guests to many dive sites all over the Maldives. Many scuba divers are keen to dive in the Maldives because of the presence of whale sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks and moray eels, as well as many smaller fish and coral species.
Find the best Scuba diving Hotel in the Maldives
RecommendationGuesthouse - Excellent location !!!
Bodu Magu, Rasdhoo, (Maldives)
– Madivaru Kro has a restaurant, shared lounge, a garden and private beach area in Rasdhoo. The property has room service, and currency exchange for guests –
Property Highlights Rest And Relaxation, Honeymoon, Health And WellnesssMost popular facilities:
Airport shuttle, Restaurant, Free WiFi, Family rooms, Non-smoking rooms, Very Good Breakfast, Private beach area
Madivaru Manta point: In the winter (Dez. - April) at 11-16m deep mantas full.
Gallery - Scuba diving in the Maladweep
Further information: Wildlife of Maldives
Maldivian waters are home to several ecosystems, including a variety, 187 species, of vibrant coral reefs. This area of the Indian Ocean, alone, houses 1100 species of fish, 5 species of sea turtles, 21 species of whales and dolphins, 400 species of molluscs, and 83 species of echinoderms. The area is alos populated by a number of crustacean species: 120 copepod, 15 amphipod, as well as more than 145 crab and 48 shrimp species.
Among the many marine families represented are Pufferfish, Fusiliers, Jackfish, Lionfish, Oriental Sweetlips, reef sharks, Groupers, Eels, Snappers, Bannerfish, Batfish, Humphead Wrasse, Spotted Eagle Rays, Scorpionfish, Lobsters, Nudibranches, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Squirrelfish, Soldierfish, Glassfish, Surgeonfish, Unicornfish, Triggerfish, Napoleon wrasses, and Barracudas.
These coral reefs are home to a variety of marine ecosystems that vary from planktonic organisms to whale sharks. Sponges have gained importance as five species have displayed anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
In 1998, sea-temperature warming of as much as 5 °C (9.0 °F) due to a single El Niño phenomenon event caused coral bleaching, killing ⅔ of the nation's coral reefs.
In an effort to induce the regrowth of the reefs, scientists placed electrified cones anywhere from 20–60 feet (6.1–18.3 m) below the surface to provide a substrate for larval coral attachment. In 2004, scientists witnessed corals regenerating. Corals began to eject pink-orange eggs and sperm. The growth of these electrified corals was five times faster than ordinary corals. Scientist Azeez Hakim stated:
before 1998, we never thought that this reef would die. We had always taken for granted that these animals would be there, that this reef would be there forever. El Niño gave us a wake-up call that these things are not going to be there for ever. Not only this, they also act as a natural barrier against the tropical storms, floods and tsunamis. Seaweeds grow on the skeletons of dead coral.
Again, in 2016, the coral reefs of the Maldives experienced a severe bleaching incident. Over 95% of coral around the islands died, and, even after six months, 100% of young coral transplants had died. The surface water temperatures reached an all-time high in 2016, at 31 degrees Celsius in May.
Recent scientific studies suggest that the faunistic composition can vary greatly between neighbour atolls, especially in terms of benthic fauna. Differences in terms of fishing pressure (including poaching) could be the cause.
Video Maldives, A Diving Paradise Maladweep
The best Maldives diving places
North Male Atoll
- Banana Reef 1: Nature Reserve. Classic in the North Male Atoll with many table corals at the top.
- Colosseum: Rainbow Runner Swarms in enormous sizes, sometimes gray sharks.
- Hans Hass Place: Nature Reserve One of the most beautiful places in the Vadhoo Channel.
- Helengeli Tila: The island of Helengeli upstream Tila with a lot of swarming fish.
- Hembadhoo Wreck: Right on the house reef of Taj Coral Reef (Hembadhoo), at night Napoleon wrasse in the wreck.
- Kanifinolhu Corner: current diving place, many snapper and demersal fish.
- Kuda Tila 2 or also Blue Canyon North Male Atoll
- Lions Head: Nature Reserve
- Lankanfinolhu Mantapoint: From December to March/April. Manta cleaning station. The famous Mantapoint.
- Maldive Victory
- Miyaru Tila1: North Male Atoll
- Nassimo Tila
- Old Shark Point
- Opera house
- Saddle or Kuda Faru
- Shallow point
- Rainbow Reef: Nature Reserve
South Male Atoll
- Embudu Canyon
- Embudu Express: Nature reserve
- Guraidhoo Channel: Nature reserve
- Kandooma Tila
- Potato Reef
- Ranali Faru
- Ranikan Faru
- The Wall
- Vaadhoo Channel Caves
- Vaadhoo Island
- Vaagali Bodu Tila & Caves
- Ari Atoll & Rasdu Atoll
- Ali Tila
- Atavaru Tila
- Angaga Tila
- Banana Reef 2 or Kuda Faru: Southeast Ari Atoll
- Bathala Maaga Faru
- Bathala Tila
- Beru Tila
- Beverly Hills
- Bulalohi Caves
- Bulalohi Corner
- Buma Tila
- Bodu Tila 1: South-West Ari Atoll at Mandu
- Bodu Tila 2: North Ari Atoll near Bathala
- Broken Rock
- Dangehti South or Dangethi Corner
- Dekhunu Tila
- Dhagethi Beyru
- Dhagethi Bodu Tila or Ranveli Tila
- Dhagethi Meddu Tila or Kuda Ranveli Tila
- Dhigurah Arches: Dhigurah Ethere
- Dhigurah Beyru
- Dhigurah Bodu Tila
- Dhigurah Tila
- Dhigurah wreck or Dhigurah Ethere
- Ellaidhoo Giri
- Ellaidhoo Tila
- Emas Tila
- Enderi Giri
- Fesdu wreck
- Fishhead or Mushimasmingili Tila: Nature Reserve
- Fhun Tila
- Fusfaru Faru
- Fushi Faru
- Fushi Faru Bodu Giri
- Fushi Faru Kuda Giri
- Gangehi Pass: One of the longest canals in Ari Atoll, a must for flow fans.
- Gameburi Tila
- Halaveli wreck: Very well overgrown wreck at 26m depth, fed stingrays as an attraction
- Hane Tila: 10-33m, channel Tila very strong current, lots of coral, no beginner place.
- Hiti Kandu Tila: 10-35m, many small overhangs, plenty of small animals and swarm fish.
- Hollywood: 7-33m, good beginner place with many overhangs, many soft corals.
- Himandu Kuda Faru Tila: 7-34m, dive site with overhangs and caves full, mostly strong currents, lots of fish, Napoleon and sharks.
- Jackfish Channel: or Hiti Tila, Hiti Kandu Tila: 11-36m, Long drawn channel reef with many small overhangs, a lot of swarm fish, often strong current.
- Kandholhudhoo Maha: 3-29m, many anemones, turtles, and plenty of lower animals. Macro photographers get their money's worth here.
- Kandholhudhoo Tila: 3-29m, Located near the helicopter island Kandholhudhoo, a lot of swarm fish, many anemones.
- Kandu Tila: Small overhangs.
- Konaga Faru:
- Kubaladhibodu Tila: Large cave on the north side.
- Kuda Kandu Corner: A typical beginner dive site, flat, sandy.
- Kuda Rah Tila: Nature reserve, Ari Atoll Here you will find many blue-snapbacks.
- Kuda Ranveli Tila:
- Kuda Tila 1: South-east Ari Atoll, barely able to be visited.
- Kudadhoo Etheru Faru: In the south with a little luck whale sharks.
- Lucky Rock: or Velagali Tila: Here you can find many batfish.
- Maaga Kan Tila:
- Maayafushi Thila: nature reserve 4-33m, very fish-rich Thila. Many swarms of batfish, blue-snapper and red big-eye-bass. Common gray sharks and small reef sharks.
- Madivaru Mantapoint: In the winter at 11-16m deep mantas full. Excellent location for your trip here!
- Magala Tila: Here you will find large table corals, many small caves, on the top plenty of anemones and amphiprion.
- Magala Faru: Very steep reef.
- Mahibadhoo Tila: Is approached by Vilamendhoo, often strong current, much swarm fish.
- Malhos Tila: Known as Blue Caves of Malhos, beautiful blue soft coral growth in overhangs with very strong currents and not suitable for diving beginners.
- Mantapoint 1: Ari Atoll. From December to March/April, especially in the case of leaking water, you can observe up to 15 large manta rays between the islands of Rangali Finolhu and Huruku Fushi on the southern edge of the canal, the famous Mantapoint.
- Meddu Faru: Oblong reef faru up to 35 m deep. Well suited for diving beginners.
- Meddu Tila 1: North Ari Atoll at Ellaidhoo Very nice top reef.
- Meddu Tila 2: South Ari Atoll near Rangali In the north there are many overhangs, in the south single coral blocks, many flocking fish.
- Mirihi Drop Off: Drop off with a beginner's character, lots of small animals, easy to dive even in current.
- Mirihi Meddu Tila: No beginner reef for diving.
- Mirihi Tila: or even Sharkpoint / Bat Reef: Beginner's dive site with the usual fish stock.
- Miyaru Tila2: No beginners dive site, changing currents, a lot of small animals and sometimes even one or the other sharks.
- Napoleon Tila: or Hudu Tila / Hudhoo Tila: A lot of small animals.
- Nu Giri: Very nice top reef, many disc anemones. Orimas Faru 1: Ari Atoll, in the east lots of coral blocks, inner reef big sand zones.
- Orimas Tila or Kuda Tila, Gaviamas Tila Kuda Tila, Gaviamas Tila: terraced, many small overhangs and niches, and many gorgonians.
- Paradise Rock: or Hudhoo Kuda Tila / Panettone: unique vegetation and fish stock, a high-flying Maldivian dive site with 5 large coral blocks.
- Pinaple Tila: Small reef near Pinaple Island, lots of soft corals and small animals.
- Rangali Faru: Located north of the island Ranali. Here you will find many shoaling fish and sometimes even one or the other sharks.
- Rangali Outside: Here you will find many shoaling fish and sometimes one or the other sharks.
- Rangali South: Beautiful place for diving. Steep wall, soft corals and with sand surfaces.
- Rasdhoo Mantapoint: Rasdu Atoll at Kuramathi: Here you can find mantas at the cleaning station. In the channel between Ari and Rasdhoo Atoll, hammerhead sharks are often found early in the morning.
- Super Gorgia: or even Jehed Tila: Here you will mostly find turtles on the top reef, in the overhanging gorgonian vegetation.
- Ukulhas Tila: No beginner place to dive as safety stop must be done in open water.
- Uthuru Tila: High-flow canal reef.
- Thinfushi Tila: There are many blue-snapbacks here.
- Vakarufahli Tila:
- Velagali Tila: Here you can find many doctor fish.
- Vilamendhoo Tila or Velamandu Tila: With a lot of swarming fish and big batfish and also very often turtles.
- Lhaviyani Atoll
- Fushi Faru Tila: Extremely large fussing swarms the reef.
- Kuredu Express: 99% gray shark guarantee, very strong current, no beginner diving. Excellent location for your trip here!
- Shipyard: Well overgrown wrecks, strong current.
- Felidhoo Atoll
- Hammerhead Point: between 6.30 and 7.30 o'clock in the morning you can watch big hammerhead sharks. With a little luck, you will also encounter a whale shark. Excellent location for your trip here!
- Miyaru Kandu: Channel dive site, some small caves, gray sharks in strong currents.
- Vattaru Channel: Provides one of the most beautiful dive sites in the Maldives, where the underwater world is still undisturbed.
Lexicon Maldivian diving terms
What is an atoll? What is a Tila? What is a Kandu?
Terms from the native language Dhivehi are mixed with common terms from the diver's language. Here is a brief explanation of what these terms mean.
An atoll, sometimes called coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, an island or group of islands surrounding a lagoon.
- Ari Atoll
- North Male Atoll
- South Male Atoll and
- Addu Atoll are probably the most well-known atolls in the diving community.
Tila or Thila
A Tila is an underwater island from the native language Dhivehi. Usually also called domes reef or pinnacle. it can be very small so you can circle it within a dive. Or so big that you need several dives.
Tilas that lie within a kandu are usually very demanding to dive because of the strong currents. These are also the most interesting dives, because life under water in the Maldives loves currents.
A Kandu is a kind of channel or pass that lies on the edge of the atoll. There, the water flows into the interior of the atoll or out, depending on the tides. The perfect Kandu dives are drift dives where you encounter large deep-sea dwellers such as tuna, manta rays or sharks.
A faru is a large coral reef that lies above the water surface at low tide.
Dhoni is the name of the local boats used by the resorts and dive centers.